5 Favourite Books of 2015 So Far
So far, 2014 has been such a good reading year for me. I’ve loved so many books that have come my way and I’ve been gradually deceasing my ‘backlist’ collection one novel at a time. It’s easy to buy book after book, always intending to read it one day, and last year I found myself caught in that trap, but this year I’ve tried to kick the bad habit and instead, read what I already have. And what I already have are some pretty amazing books, after all, there was a reason I brought them in the first place.
Below I’ve popped five of my 2014 favourites so far and I never anticipated how hard it would be just to choose five. I look at that list and think, ‘but what about What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt?’ which was bananas amazing, ‘or how about The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood?’ which was so good it hurt. Hmm. Some hard decisions, and I’m hopeful that the next 5 months will bring some more cracking reads.
1. Us by David Nicholls
This book was just everything – poignant, beautiful, readable, funny (it made me laugh out loud, which is so rare for a book) and innovative. I loved this book for it’s deceiving ‘normality’ – a middle aged man tries to save his marriage by booking a European holiday – but in reality, this book is so much more than that. I’m a huge Nicholls fan so I was, most likely, going to enjoy this book. But I didn’t just enjoy it, I LOVED it. Probably my favourite Nicholls so far and I’ve read and loved them all. I would recommend this one to you a million times over.
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Oh. This. Book. This is so beautiful that it makes me go weak at the knees. One of my favourite novels of all time is I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith and this book gives me exactly the same ‘feels’. It’s a coming-of-age novel set in Brooklyn, New York and it is so lyrical and gentle and wonderful. I will most definitely read this book again. And again. I can see why this book has such a cult following and I now consider myself part of it’s fan base.
3. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
This book has stuck with me ever since I read the last page. Such an interesting, thought-provoking subject matter. I was already interested in memory and how it is tackled in fiction, but this book made me reconsidered and redefine how I think about memory and its fictional ‘handling’. It was also just a pleasure to read – an intriguing plot line and a strong narrative voice. A little, but powerful book.
4. NW by Zadie Smith
This was my first experience of Zadie Smith and it certainly will not be my last. I think I have found a new ‘favourite’ author and I am keen to make my way through all of her novels. One by one I will savour them because if they’re anything like NW, then they will blow my mind. This novel following four Londoners who grew up on the same council estate, was both funny and tragic. The narrative ‘voices’ were so strong, I was constantly left wondering how on earth Smith managed it, and London as a location was so powerfully realised that I felt deeply immersed in the surroundings of the book after only a few pages. I want to pick up White Teeth next.
5. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
I loved this book because it was so different from what I’ve read before. It was magic realism without being magic realism and a love story without being a love story. This book has made me think about it often since I finished the last page. The imagery was beautiful – and I don’t say that lightly. It was so sumptuous, I found myself constantly wanting to ‘take note’ of the way Roy handled description. I need to read this book again because I feel like there are so many things that I ‘missed’ the first time around – it’s bursting with beauty.